Deal With Applications For Running Hookah Bars As Expeditiously As Possible: HC Tells UP Authorities
The Allahabad High Court has directed the authorities in the State of Uttar Pradesh to deal with applications for grant/renewal of licence for running hookah bars as expeditiously as possible.
During the spread of Covid-19 Pandemic, the UP Government had banned the running of Hookah Bars. Consequently, all the "Hukka Bars" established and being run in different districts of the State were discontinued.
The Division bench of Acting Chief Justice Pritinker Diwaker and Justice Saumitra Dayal Singh was dealing with a plea by business owners who had prayed to allow them to recommence their business now that Covid-19 Pandemic restrictions have been largely relaxed.
Advocate Asar Mukhtar appeared for the petitioner whereas Advocate Deepak Singh appeared for the State.
The Additional Advocate General submitted that they have yet not applied to the statutory authority under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. It was added that if they apply, their request will be considered.
The Court without going into the merits left it open to the applicants to apply to the statutory authority in accordance with law for grant/renewal of licence to run their respective Hookah Bars.
“Without going into the merits of the controversy, in view of the fact that undisputedly the business of running of "Hukka Bars" is regulated under the aforesaid Act, it is left open to the individual inverveners to apply to the statutory authority in accordance with law for grant/renewal of licence to run their respective "Hukka Bar". If such application/s is/are made by the present individual intervener/s or other similarly situated persons, the same may be dealt with strictly in accordance with law as expeditiously as possible, preferably within a period of one month from the date of filing of such application.”, the Court directed.
Accordingly, the petition was disposed of.
Cause Title- Suo Moto v. State of U.P. & Others